My intention is to avoid discussing politics in this blog, however there is a trend I am noticing that fascinates me.
Observing the US Democratic nomination race, I am struck by how the choices reflect the distinction between a “manager” and a “leader”:
Focuses on the “how”
Emphasizes the “reality”
Leads by authority and control
Focuses on the “what”
Emphasizes the “possibility”
Leads by influence and inspiration
For me, Hillary Clinton is the quintessential “manager”: pragmatic, emphasizing her experience and qualifications. She constantly is promising “what I will do for you as President”. I have no doubt that Senator Clinton would be a competent President.
Barack Obama, on the other hand, is acting as a “leader”, through strength of vision and message, inspiring hope and possibility. His message echoes that of great, inspiring leaders, reminding us of “what we can do for ourselves”.
Right now, what we need, whether in the US or Canada or Quebec or wherever, whether in government or in business, in public life or in private life, are not more managers who convince. We need more leaders who inspire, who can influence people to join in a vision to build something bigger than themselves.
When you want to get something done, be it to complete a sale or seek investment or engage with a colleague, is your instinct to “convince” the person in front of you, or to inspire them?
Which mode do you believe is more effective in the long run?
*I am a dual Canadian and US citizen. I am proud to be voting in the upcoming US Presidential election for the first time, no matter who gets the final nomination.